Adding Geographic Targeting to AdWords in Bulk

Adding in geographic targeting can be a great way to boost your account’s performance. Whether it’s implementing positive bid modifiers in areas where you’re performing well, or implementing negative modifiers where you aren’t doing so well.

It’s easy enough to add location targeting to one campaign manually and then copy the settings over to all campaigns. But what about when you want different campaigns to have different geo targets, or different negative geo targets?

Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge fan of automation and having things work efficiently. Who wouldn’t be?! When I was faced with this simple conundrum, I set out to make it my mission to know how set this up quickly and easily.

Once I made a bulksheet of all of my campaigns with their respective geo targets and desired bid modifiers, it was time to vet my options. I quickly opened up AdWords Editor and navigated to the targeting > locations tab where I was greeted by this glowing check locations button:

“Great!” I thought, easiest job ever, right? I copy & pasted my campaigns and locations, hit the check location button, and let AdWords do its thing. Unfortunately, it seems check locations is not infallible, for I was met with a ton of “unrecognized location” errors.

After pondering my options, I noticed that when you go in to the add location target settings, there’s a column for “Location ID”:

I knew that was my ticket, being able to get the location IDs would prove invaluable, but where was I to get them? A few quick Google searches led me to this:

This sheet, which Google itself keeps updated as they add more locations, always has the latest and greatest when it comes to location targets. If you download the sheet and make sure to format your bulksheet the same way they have it formatted, all your location IDs will be a quick vlookup away. Once you have the IDs along with your location, you can re-upload to AdWords Editor and be sure that your check location will give you what you were looking for.

Happy targeting!

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